Original Research

Welcoming outsiders: The nascent Jesus community as a locus of hospitality and equality (Mk 9:33–42; 10:2–16)

Zorodzai Dube
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 48, No 1 | a1379 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v48i1.1379 | © 2014 Zorodzai Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 June 2013 | Published: 15 May 2014

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Zorodzai Dube, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The recent global economic crisis left millions of people destitute without formal work and further alienated the poor from the rich. As a remedy, modern Neoliberalism proposes that the poor must hope and steadily work their way up the economic ladder. What is the solution to such unbridgeable social and economic chasm? This article used the contemporary situation of economic inequality to imagine events during the first century, during Jesus’ time, whereby the rich increasingly amassed wealth to the disadvantage of the poor majority. In this article, Mark 9:33–42 and 10:10–16 was used to explore how Jesus developed an alternative economic system − one that contrasted itself in every respect from that of the hierarchical and patriarchal Roman Empire. This article argued that Jesus formed communities that directly responded to the economic challenges faced by the landless and the homeless majority by creating an alternative economy based on love and hospitality. This was done by proposing that Mark 9:33–42 and 10:2–16 are amongst the passages where the two rival economies were contrasted by way of two different household economies. Firstly, the economic system outside the house that typified the hierarchical Roman economy, and secondly, the economic system inside the house that referred to Jesus’ alternative system whereby he taught his disciples to welcome the homeless, the landless and the poor. Before developing this further, the plausible social context of the stories was attended to.


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